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Desiree Anderson: The heart of the program

Photo: Jaclyn Duske, USF Athletic Department

Desiree Anderson has been a part of the Fighting Saints Women’s Volleyball team since her freshman year in 2020, but has been a multisport athlete her whole life. Taking part in track, basketball, softball and volleyball throughout her childhood, ultimately it was volleyball that stood out to her.

“I just love the atmosphere of volleyball,” Anderson said. “It's very intense and in your face, it's very quick, and I feel like volleyball has just taught me so many life skills in general.”

Serving as a resident assistant (RA); Anderson is also the captain of the volleyball team. Balancing being an RA, volleyball and school can be tough for anyone. Add team captain to the mix and well, goodluck, Charlie. Anderson is no stranger to being a team captain, as she was captain in her senior year of high school. She mentions feelings of nostalgia going into her senior season being captain all over again.

“[I’m] in a different place than [I] was in highschool, so being captain now is a lot different,” Anderson reflected. “I feel like I bring a lot more to the team and the program.”

In terms of her leadership, status and warm personality, she is a shining gem in the program.

“I’m definitely stopping at [the] collegiate level,” Anderson said about pursuing volleyball after college. However, Anderson still has another “Covid year” of collegiate eligibility that she will be taking (which she’s excited for), so her senior year doesn’t exactly mean it’s her last campaign.

Although the Saints had a cold start, they warmed up quickly with their first win of the season here at home on August 31st, followed by another victory against Roosevelt on Sep. 5. Losses can typically be discouraging for our athletes, no matter the level they come at. Humble as ever, Anderson expresses the stigma that she feels surrounds NCAA divisions and NAIA, and even gives testimony as to how she had that same stigma in highschool.

“Once you start playing at a collegiate level, you realize that it doesn’t matter what level you’re playing at,” Anderson said. “It’s a high level of competition, so no matter what level it is, NCAA, NAIA, it’s going to be that high level of competition.”

All four years of highschool, she was a Scholar-Athlete award recipient which is jarring to think about, considering that she also played softball through her junior year. That is a lot of stress, but credits time management for helping her get through it.

“Time management is a big thing that I’m working on right now,” Anderson said.

She is currently working at the Marian desk on campus, doing school, starting a new season and is a new RA.

“Balancing that has been a lot,” Anderson said. “But never once have I doubted my volleyball career, that’s honestly the space that I go to when I’m stressed.”

Desiree Anderson is a down to earth person, and that reflects in her volleyball performance and her overall team attitude. Her ability to balance her career with her busy schedule is an inspiration not only to her teammates, but to the campus community as a whole.

Disclaimer: Alex Mielcarz is an employee of the athletic department and was involved in the editing of this article.

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